French Canadian Pea Soup

Ah, pea soup. I love French Canadian style – loved it when I was a kid – especially when served at Festival du Voyageur activities in my hometown!.

I loved it when I first moved out on my own, living on the cheap, and buying the “Habitant” canned stuff like it was going out fo style.

Now, as an expatriate Canadian.. I may love it even more! Unlike many of the other homeland foods I adore, this one is easily made, with almost all of the ingredients being available locally. Sure, you can’t get *proper* summer savory in Minnesota – but you CAN beg friends to bring some back from vacations on Canada’s east coast! (Thank you Laura and Andrew, you’re awesome and I adore you for it!)

This makes a LOT of soup. Because soup isn’t an everyday kind of thing to make, I like to make a large batch, and freeze most of it – it freezes / thaws beautifully.

This version is a bit easier than the 100% traditional way, which uses a ham bone in it. Feel free to add a ham bone in with the water, pulling it out as the mixture gets thick, though. I just find it convenient to use the small, boneless ham chunks for this!

French Canadian Pea Soup

3 onions, chopped
2 cups grated celery
3 lbs dried yellow split peas
24 cups water
3 lbs+ cured ham, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup grated carrots (about 6 carrots)
1 Tbsp dried summer savory
1 bay leaf
2 tsp pepper

In a LARGE pot, saute onions and celery, cooking until tender and translucent. Add split peas, water, ham, and carrots, bring to a boil. Cover pot, remove from heat, and allow to sit for one hour.

After one hour, return pot to heat and bring up to a boil once more. Add summer savory, bay leaf, and pepper. Simmer over medium heat until split peas break down, forming a very thick soup.

Season with salt to taste.

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